Book Club - Paris discussion

Next Book > 2012 Book #7: Food, glorious Food

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message 1: by Kiwi (Karin) (new)

Kiwi (Karin) Kiwus (KiwiKarin) | 38 comments Hi everyone,
here my very first thread ever (oh dear, I'm so excited!!!!) - let's see if all works in perfect order or whether I'll be just as chaotic as Frizzi (just kidding ;-))

Anyway, after a quiet meal with a few die-hards (even René managed to survive his swing dance to join us), we have voted for a new fascinating topic: This time it will be about.....Food!
Anything to do with munching, sweet, savory, delicious or just plain normal - as long as it's a novel and food has anything significant to do with it, there are no boundaries.

So let's hear your proposals - you have until Friday evening, when I'll start the poll (another first for me....).

Happy hunting and suggesting!

message 2: by Ganit (new)

Ganit | 72 comments Like water for chocolate...haven't read it yet but it should be quite tasty!!!
...I know, it's not very original as a suggestion! So what?

message 3: by Ganit (new)

Ganit | 72 comments and "Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly" is also in my to-read list...

message 4: by Erin (new)

Erin | 38 comments oh no! I can't beleive I missed last night. I never saw the messages :( Guess I need to re-set my notifications settings in Goodreads.

Fun subject for next time! I vote +1 for "Kitchen Confidential". I have seen the show and it is hilarious.

message 5: by Frizzi (new)

Frizzi | 60 comments Mod
Hey, hey Kiwi! Choatic was only the most recent and, I agree, veeery short-notice rescheduling. Which, I remind you, was linked to the cancelation of some among us which were equally short notice! I think I need a ginger cookie to compensate ;)

For the awesome food topic I suggest "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl. I just can't get enough of children's books ;)

By the way, I learned today that it's food day in the US. Has any of the Amercians ever heard of it? Your time has come. We even intuitively made it our topic =)

See you soon!
PS: Erin, we were wondering where you were ... Next time then! :)

message 6: by Georgina (new)

Georgina | 24 comments Hi all and again sorry about yesterday's last minute cancellation ...

My suggestion for the next book meeting ( to which I will hopefully attend héhé) is Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle-Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg.

Ganit, I just finished reading Like Water For Chacolate and enjoyed it a lot !

message 7: by Erin (new)

Erin | 38 comments @Kiwi: I think every day in the US is food day!

message 8: by René (new)

René (cigro) | 643 comments Mod
I was going to suggest Fried Green Tomatoes but Georgina beat me to it (great going, Georgina, way to make yourself appreciated).

Also, Kitchen Confidential cannot be a choice because a) it's not a novel and b) Bourdain's constant posturing is insufferable.

I'm going to suggest Banana Hashimoto's Kitchen because it's been a lifetime dream to read a book written by someone called Banana.

message 9: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (LindsV) | 96 comments Mod
although it is rare for me to make a suggestion, i am currently reading a good book and it is in PARIS :)
Dearie: The remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz
it is really good so far!
and rene, you should add to your list of rules, no changing the date on the day of a meeting. if people can't come, they can't come. but changing on the day of is annoying :) just my input!
hope you guys had a good meeting

message 10: by Ganit (new)

Ganit | 72 comments hé! it's a book club and this is a book...we could also propose poetry about kitchen if it was to anyone's liking...couldn't we?

message 11: by René (new)

René (cigro) | 643 comments Mod
@Ganit yes of course! We just agreed on the format in this case to narrow the choice a little.

@Lindsay - added your suggestion to the guide.

message 12: by Kiwi (Karin) (new)

Kiwi (Karin) Kiwus (KiwiKarin) | 38 comments Hey everyone! Here is my suggestion: 'The Art of Travel' by Alain de Botton....

PS: René, great job with the guidelines - you'll be asking for a laurel wreath as well, right?

message 13: by Vishwesh (new)

Vishwesh Bhatia | 7 comments My suggestion - EAT PRAY EAT,by Michael Booth - Its a Food / Travel log written by an english journalist about his visit to India..

From the Back Cover
World-weary, distracted and more often than not the worse for wine, Michael Booth really needed to make some major changes to his life. Instead, he embarks on an over-ambitious, self-indulgent attempt to write the definitive book on Indian food, taking his wife and two young children with him.

They criss-cross India, from mist-shrouded Delhi, to Mumbai and the slums of Dharavi, meeting the locals and sampling different cuisines along the way. However, his plan is derailed as he spirals deeper into his metaphysical middle-aged malaise, finally unravelling in the sweltering heat of the Keralan Backwaters.

Fortunately, his wife takes control and enrols her disintegrating husband in a hardcore yoga bootcamp, enlisting a wise meditation guru to help him chart a path towards enlightenment. But will Booth's cynicism and untrammelled appetites prove his undoing? Can he regain his balance, conquer his anxieties and face up to life as a husband and father?

'Deliciously comic, compelling and ultimately inspiring' Time Out

'Highly entertaining. Booth has always been a very funny writer.hilarious' Mail on Sunday

'Eminently readable' Metro

message 14: by Justin (new)

Justin Hood | 628 comments Okay, I shall recommend a very under-rated author John Lanchester and his foodie novel The Debt To Pleasure, about which Amazon says is "a gorgeous, dark, and sensuous book that is part cookbook, part thriller, part eccentric philosophical treatise, reminiscent of perhaps the greatest of all books on food, Jean-Anthelme Brillat Savarin's The Physiology of Taste. Join Tarquin Winot as he embarks on a journey of the senses, regaling us with his wickedly funny, poisonously opinionated meditations on everything from the erotics of dislike to the psychology of a menu, from the perverse history of the peach to the brutalisation of the palate, from cheese as 'the corpse of milk' to the binding action of blood"

Here is is:

message 15: by Erin (new)

Erin | 38 comments @kiwi: I saw your show last night. so good!

sorry for the non book-related post. I don't have any book suggestions yet but am excited by what I am seeing :)

message 16: by Viviane (new)

Viviane | 172 comments Hi everybody,

My suggestion will be this time a french classical (which you can find translated on Amazon). It's because it is about the "Quartier des Halles", where we met on tuesday, and used to be a big food market (now in Rungis) : "The belly of Paris" by Emile Zola

Unjustly deported to Devil's Island following Louis-Napoleon's coup-d'état in December 1851, Florent Quenu escapes and returns to Paris. He finds the city changed beyond recognition. The old Marché des Innocents has been knocked down as part of Haussmann's grand programme of urban reconstruction to make way for Les Halles, the spectacular new food markets. Disgusted by a bourgeois society whose devotion to food is inseparable from its devotion to the Government, Florent attempts an insurrection.

message 17: by Frizzi (new)

Frizzi | 60 comments Mod
Really great to see all these suggestions! Kiwi, you will have enough books for the doodle. If you need a hand (and have a spare ginger cookie =) I'd be happy to help ;)

message 18: by Frizzi (new)

Frizzi | 60 comments Mod
PS: Erin, it's actually nice to also have non-book comments. Since we are not the full group of readers personally meeting to discuss it's great to share here. (And yes, I agree, the show is fun =)

message 19: by Kiwi (Karin) (new)

Kiwi (Karin) Kiwus (KiwiKarin) | 38 comments Hi everyone,
I know it is already past midnight, but for me it is still Friday evening, so I'm not too late... ;-)
Here is the doodle (my very first, so celebrations are due!) with the many suggestions (great work everyone! - we'll have a job getting down to one favourite.....):

As usual, everyone is allowed 2 votes, the poll closes on Monday evening.

And here the links to the different books:
1) "Like water for chocolate":
2) "Charlie and the chocolate factory":
3) "Fried green tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe":
4) "Kitchen":
5) "Dearie: The remarkable life of Julia Child":
6) "The art of travel":
7) "Eat pray eat":
8) "The debt to pleasure":
9) "The belly of Paris":

Happy hunting!! :-)

message 20: by Kiwi (Karin) (new)

Kiwi (Karin) Kiwus (KiwiKarin) | 38 comments PS: Erin, I'm thrilled that you came to see our show on Wednesday, and sorry that we did not speak afterwards. To catch up at the next bookclub meeting :-)

message 21: by René (new)

René (cigro) | 643 comments Mod
Wow, nine books, no less! This round promises to be plebiscited. Given the food topic, the pressure is on Karin to find a food-friendly meeting place.

message 22: by René (new)

René (cigro) | 643 comments Mod
Well, it looks like Zola is shaping into a winner!

Unless of course people start changing their doodle votes, otherwise known as "pulling a Vish".

message 23: by Kiwi (Karin) (new)

Kiwi (Karin) Kiwus (KiwiKarin) | 38 comments Hi everyone,
ok, the poll is no officially closed, and we do have a clear winner: "The belly of Paris" by Emile Zola!

It seems that it is quite a shortish book (approx. 270 pages), so we may not need to wait toooo long for our next meeting, right?
I set up the doodle for the first two weeks of December, so let's see what happens..... ;-)
Here is the link:

Now all that need be said is: ready, steady, off to the bookshop!


message 24: by René (new)

René (cigro) | 643 comments Mod
For those reading it as an ebook - I found both the French version (Le Ventre de Paris) and a translation titled "The Fat and the Thin" on

message 25: by Ganit (new)

Ganit | 72 comments And I think that the French vision is free in kindle format as well ...

message 26: by Viviane (new)

Viviane | 172 comments Yes the french version is free on kindle, just downloaded it last night (I think the last (and only) time I ve read the book was 25 years ago :( I might need a refresh...)

Happy reading !


message 27: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (LindsV) | 96 comments Mod
thanks rene! just downloaded both english and french versions :)

message 28: by Erin (new)

Erin | 38 comments what are thoughts on reading the english vs. the french versions? Is it worth it to try to slog my way through the 19th century french?

message 29: by Ganit (new)

Ganit | 72 comments I think that if some of us read in French and some in English it might make an interesting discussions ...
Personally, I'm going to read it in French.

message 30: by René (new)

René (cigro) | 643 comments Mod
@Erin I skimmed through the French version, the language is no different from contemporary French if that is what's worrying you. But personally, I think I'll read it in Engligh anyways just because it's an English-language book club.

message 31: by Erin (new)

Erin | 38 comments I feel like I "should" read it in French. But realistically I know that the chances of me actually finishing the book if I read it in French are much lower. So I think I will follow René's lead and also read in English :)

message 32: by Georgina (new)

Georgina | 24 comments I think I'll be reading it in French too - reading Zola in English may feel weird to me.

message 33: by Ganit (new)

Ganit | 72 comments can we already announce a date so that everyone will close it in their agenda? (no swinging classes at that date!!!)

message 34: by René (new)

René (cigro) | 643 comments Mod
Hey - swing classes, not swinging classes! You make me sound like a debauched, dissolute individual who spends his time in disreputable establishments. God, I wish!

message 35: by Ganit (new)

Ganit | 72 comments It's all in your head :)

message 36: by Kiwi (Karin) (new)

Kiwi (Karin) Kiwus (KiwiKarin) | 38 comments Hi everyone,
ok, this is the final call-up for flight "get-on-the-doodle-and-put-your-dates-in".... I'll close the doodle tomorrow evening, thus we'll have a fixed date to give us more pressure in reading quickly, be it in French, English, Mandarin or Vegetarian....


message 37: by Kiwi (Karin) (new)

Kiwi (Karin) Kiwus (KiwiKarin) | 38 comments Hi everyone,
Ok, the poll is now officially closed, with the next meeting scheduled on 13 Dec.
It seems that everyone would be available except Lindsay.
Do you think you could still make it, Lindsay?

As for venues, do you have any culinary inspirations? How about going to one of the bars mentioned in the book? I believe that one or two might still be around.... ;-)

Happy reading, everyone - see you in December!

message 38: by Justin (new)

Justin Hood | 628 comments We need somewhere Christmassy, given that this is surely the book club's Christmas Party edition...

message 39: by Erin (new)

Erin | 38 comments Love the idea of going to one of the bars mentioned in the book! and doing something christmasy. maybe they will be one and the same.

message 40: by Ganit (new)

Ganit | 72 comments haven't started the book yet (someone said it's short) but I love the idea to follow the book.
And of course Christmas (Hannouka for some of us!!!) party would be great...we could exchange little gifts...kind of little secret Santa...what do you think?

message 41: by Justin (new)

Justin Hood | 628 comments Secret Santa rocks. We could all buy a gift of 5 euros or under? It could be a book/author-inspired gift? Or maybe just anything...

message 42: by Ganit (new)

Ganit | 72 comments I think that 5€ a good price (not too much but still enable to get something!!!)
Let's do it without subject constraints at the moment so that it will be easier and more exciting at once :)

message 43: by Justin (new)

Justin Hood | 628 comments Just got my copy of The Belly. And it IS a fat one - it's 397 pages?!

message 44: by Georgina (new)

Georgina | 24 comments I haven't got my copy of the book yet but think that secret santa's a great idea !

message 45: by Hélène (new)

Hélène | 3 comments Hi!
Do you mind if I join? I have never participated to these meetings but it sounds like such a lovely idea! And I can't wait to read the book.
I hope you don't mind welcoming a French reader!

message 46: by René (new)

René (cigro) | 643 comments Mod
@Hélène of course! The club is open to all. Just read the book and come to the meeting, December 13th. Kiwi's going to find a super-duper meeting place in the interim.

message 47: by Grace (new)

Grace Coston | 5 comments Hi, I'm not sure why I had a notification for this thread, but I did and it sounds like a great group, just what I've been looking for! Room for one more?

message 48: by Ganit (new)

Ganit | 72 comments room for everyone :)

message 49: by Kiwi (Karin) (new)

Kiwi (Karin) Kiwus (KiwiKarin) | 38 comments Hi everyone,
Time is running so fast, it is simply unfair !!!! Something ought to be done about it....
Anyway, I have done little research into our next goodreads meeting – last one before Christmas !
There seem to be quite a number of posh restaurants about, where Zola has had a few rowdy or more quite and sensible evenings in Paris – however, they seem to be more or less upper range, and for a comfy gathering not quite what we’re looking for. Knowing that we were reading about Les Halles, I then ventured to check out that area, and obviously Rue Montorgueil springs sort of to mind. After having a closer look, it seems that only “La Grille Montorgueil” seems nice and oldywoldy (do you spell it this way???), and with opportunities to have something to eat or just a good pint. I did not have time to look at the surrounding streets (lunch break…), so I’m open for other suggestions if any forthcoming ;-)

Take care

message 50: by Ganit (new)

Ganit | 72 comments I actually had quite a bad experience at "La grille Montorgueil" the last time I wend there in terms of quality of the food and the service (and yet it was one of my favorites before).
But, I don't have another idea immediately...anyone has another idea?
How many are we going to be?

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